I remember leading worship in college and looking out at the bored high school students that I was “leading” and wondering why they didn’t get it. I sang my heart out to God while teenagers talked to each other, texted on their cellphones, and had looks of sheer boredom on their faces. I felt the weight of this every time I led. I would leave some nights and just wonder what the point was.
It wasn’t until I began to understand the role of the Trinity in worship that I really began to lead freely. Although I still had nights of discouragement, I realized that ultimately I don’t make worship happen: God does. He is the one who calls, moves, and receives. We come to the throne room of the Father based on the finished work of the Son that can only be applied by the regenerating work of the Spirit. As worship leaders, we don’t “lead anyone into God’s presence.” We are carried there by the Son.
This is freeing to me as a worship leader, and joy-inducing as a worshiper in the congregation. When we realize that the Father calls us, the Son has made the way and intercedes for us, and the Spirit is moving amongst God’s people doing the work of the Father and the Son, it brings a massive weight to what we do on a Sunday morning. As a worship leader, I can’t make people worship, but I can join in the dance of the Trinity. You see, the Father, Son, and Spirit were perfectly happy by themselves before the dawn of time. They didn’t need us, but God is a loving God, and He wanted to share Himself with us.
The Father orchestrated the plan of salvation, the Son accomplished it, and the Spirit applies it. So it is in corporate worship. The Father has orchestrated all of it, the Son intercedes for us and makes our worship acceptable to Him, and the Spirit moves in our hearts as we sing. The Father is holy and can’t stand sin. He can’t stand praise from dead people, because dead people can’t sing. So the Son died the death we deserve and gave us new life, and the Spirit raises us to life by applying the Son’s redemption to us. As we sing, these realities are in play and we can sing to the glory of the Father, through the finished work of the Son, and by the power of the Spirit.
As worship leaders, we can join this dance by supporting and enhancing the worship that the Trinity is already accomplishing in congregants’ hearts. As worshipers we realize what an absolute privilege it is to join in this glory-giving that is already happening within the Trinity.
Let us gather in the Name of the Father, through the finished work of the Son, and by the power of the Spirit, and let’s worship freely, because He is so worthy of it.